Executive Search for Not-for-Profit Cultural Institutions

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Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

The Challenge

The committed Search Committee of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana set out to find a creative, entrepreneurial Executive Director to succeed the long-time respected leader who was retiring from her position. The Museum houses an extraordinary collection of 120 vintage automobiles representing the highest standards of craftsmanship. The Museum, located in the original 1929 Auburn Automobile Company administration building, a National Historic Landmark, is a short drive from the urban cultural resources of Fort Wayne, in a lovely town proud of its industrial heritage.

The Solution

We set out to let a diversity of museum and other experts know about the chance to take this unusual organization featuring “rolling sculptures” and fascinating educational resources to its next level. Reaching out to leaders in the automobile museum field was only the beginning. We put out word and actively recruited from science and children’s museums, technology and history museums, organizations of collectors of automobiles and other technologies, and education and industry.

An encounter at an annual museum conference ended up producing the candidate with the right combination of expertise and excitement about the opportunity, and who clicked with the Search Committee.

Brandon Anderson began his duties as the fifth executive director in the 44-year history of the Museum, arriving from his position as Deputy Executive Director at The History Museum in his native South Bend, Indiana. His previous positions were at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina, that state’s first capitol building, and at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida.

Brandon jumped in with both feet at the Auburn Cord and has been speeding ahead since.